7 pill-free ways to manage chronic pain

7 pill-free ways to manage chronic pain

by Bianca Castro |

Living with chronic pain can be extremely tough on mental health, family and relationships. Try these medication-free ways of coping

1. Acupuncture

Many people find acupuncture effective for reducing pain, as well as stress and anxiety. Medical acupuncture focuses on eight key parts of the brain that modulate pain. This enables physiotherapists to devise tailored treatment plans that specifically target a patient’s area of pain.

2. Relaxation techniques

Stress is a huge factor in chronic pain. It can trigger pain, intensify our experience of it, and make it harder to live with. Seeking out techniques that aid relaxation can be helpful.

3. Keeping active

Regular movement and exercise are essential in pain management. Physically, it helps increase strength, improves blood flow and releases ‘feel-good’ chemicals in the brain, known to reduce pain and boost mental wellbeing.

4. Counselling and therapy

Living with chronic pain is traumatic, stressful and isolating. Counselling can provide a safe space to talk about all this.

5. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is a type of talking therapy with a focus on addressing how we think and respond to things, helping us move away from unhelpful belief systems where we’re doomed and helpless, and towards more useful patterns and coping strategies.

6. Pacing

Make sure you don’t overdo it. This might mean spreading a task or activity over three days.

7. Boundaries

Get comfortable with setting boundaries and saying no — to other people and also to yourself.

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